View Full Version : .222 vs .223 Wassup?

August 14, 2009, 07:47 AM
Hope I,m in the right area for this, but here goes anyway. Shoot alot of .223--know absolutely nothing about the .222 rem. I see the ammo for each of these listed as "5.56 (M193). Somebody clue me in. I have a chance to purchase a Rem. mod. 788 in .222, for a really stupid below market price, and would at least like a hint of what I,m getting. As always, have a blessed day, trust in the Lord, but keep your rifle handy in case he's busy at the moment. Thanks

guy sajer
August 14, 2009, 07:55 AM
purchase a Rem. mod. 788 in .222, for a really stupid below market price, and would at least like a hint of what I,m getting.
You're getting one of the most accurate factory chamberings ever made in an often underated great little rifle . Enjoy :cool:

August 14, 2009, 08:18 AM
Thanks for the reply. I guess maybe my question was configured wrong. What I,m confused about is the ammunition. Both the .222 and the .223 are stated as taking the 5.56 (M193) round. Is this a mis-print, or what? I,m confused. Thanks.:confused:

guy sajer
August 14, 2009, 08:28 AM
Incorrect . 222 Rem is a shorter case with a longer neck .

It was very popular as a bench rest round "back in the day" . Wonderfully accurate :cool:

August 14, 2009, 09:21 AM
WHOA! .222 Rem is NOT the same cartridge as .223 and they are NOT interchangeable.

The only thing common between .222 and .223 is that they can shoot the same BULLETS but not the same cases/cartridges. The .223 Rem and 5.56 military are different versions of the same cartridge and can be interchanged in some rifles. My understanding is that .223 cartridges can be fired in 5.56 military rifles but that 5.56 cartridges should not be fired in .223 rifles because they are loaded hotter.

Jim Watson
August 14, 2009, 10:34 AM
Both the .222 and the .223 are stated as taking the 5.56 (M193) round.

This is not so. They are different cartridges not at all interchangeable.

The .222 Remington is a target and varmint round introduced about 1951.

The .223 Remington was developed in the 1957 for military trials and was adopted as the 5.56x45 in 1964. (With a few changes that worry some people.)

There is also a .222 Remington Magnum, different from both the others.

The .222 and .222 Magnum have their good points but the .223 being a military round got it widely accepted and the .222 twins are about obsolete. (There was also a .224 Winchester very similar to the .223 Remington in those 1950s military trials but you will not likely see any of the few rifles or little bit of ammo.)

August 14, 2009, 07:27 PM
and you don't sound like a re-loader, so be prepared for a new hobby, finding a source of .222 ammo.

August 15, 2009, 03:24 PM
I inherited a Remmy M720 in .222 Rem. (Was my dads first new rifle & prized as such) When I do my job, it will shoot 1/2" groups at 100 yds all day long. Virtually no recoil, cheap to reload for. It definitely likes the lighter .22 bullets, ~ 50 grains and less. Most have fairly slow twist barrels, thus the preference for light bullets.
Get the .222 and learn to reload, then enjoy a unique rifle that none of the locals have.



August 15, 2009, 10:54 PM
Its a good calibre. The NZ Forest service used it to cull deer.

August 20, 2009, 11:56 AM
From everything I have read, if your rifle is marked, ".223 and 5.56" you can shoot either or both. If one is marked, it may be able to handle only those rounds for which it was marked. I used to believe that .223 and 5.56 were interchangeable.

August 20, 2009, 12:07 PM
i have a winchester mod 70 heavy barrel varmint rifle in .222. it is a wonderful cartridge. it is a different cartridge than a .222 mag, .223/5.56 so pay attention when you buy ammo. it is also easy to reload if you have a mind to. congrats you are going to enjoy shooting the .222 :)

August 20, 2009, 12:13 PM
I may be off base here, but I think you are confused by the 5.56. this is a military definition. just like the 3030 win. Designation is 7.62 x 51 and the 3006 is 7.62 x 63

James K
August 20, 2009, 02:16 PM
The 7.62x51 or 7.62 NATO civilian equivalent is the .308 Winchester, not the "3030 Winchester". The metric designation "7.62x51R" is the .30-30. (Note the "R" for "rimmed.")

The "differences" between the .223 Remington and the military 5.56 have been talked to death and vastly over emphasized. For the most part they are interchangeable.


August 21, 2009, 02:07 AM
As another note, the M193 is the 55gr FMJ bullet so maybe the 222 that your looking at is using the M193 bullet?

Personally if I had a 223 already I wouldn't buy a 222 as they are ballistically close enough for me.

Unless I could get that 788 super cheap then I'd pick it up and rebarrel it as in my opinion the 788's were the best 700's that Remington put out.

August 21, 2009, 06:27 AM
I could have used a better example. What I was trying to say was. Just because a round is designated 5.56 0r 7.62 they are not interchangeable.. the 3030, 308, and 3006 all use a .308 bullet. How ever the 7.62x 39 Russian uses a .311 bullet. But also has the designation 7.62

August 27, 2009, 02:21 AM
Just a thought --
You could also run a 223 finish reamer into your 222 chamber and open it up to 223. I believe you'll find the slight extra length would make this work. If you do, just make absolutely certain you stamp a "3" over the last "2" on the barrel so nobody loads and shoots a 222 in your 223. Ask your local gunsmith his opinion.

I own a couple of 222s, and they are terrific- deadly accurate, quiet, cheap to reload. Brass is readily available, but you could also reform and trim 223s into 222s, but I like accurate headstamps when differences are minor. You have a nice dilemma -- a true win-win.

August 27, 2009, 05:50 AM
Here is some decent information on the subject:


Uncle Buck
August 27, 2009, 11:12 AM
The .222 is a great round and 788 is a great gun. Jump on it and just stock up on ammo (.222) when you come across it, or learn to reload (although you will come to regret reloading, the hours of solitude, sitting at your bench, reading manuals, preparing brass, throwing powder shots... I have a sign on my door that says "We interrupt this marriage for reloading").
I shot enough .223 when I was in the military I do not want my own. I got the .222 from my dad, so along with sentimental value, I have a fun, cheap shooting gun.

August 27, 2009, 11:25 AM
I've got a 788 in .223 and love it. It's a 24" heavy sporter and shoots "mahvelous". You'll love the 222 with 50gr bullets.

August 27, 2009, 02:03 PM
and you don't sound like a re-loader, so be prepared for a new hobby, finding a source of .222 ammo

222 ammo in short supply? What next, Midway was practically giving Rem 222 brass away a few years back if purchased in bulk. Glad I bought few now.

Getting back to the topic, the 788 is kind of unique offering that Remington brought out in the late 70s early 80s as best I can recall. Had a rather unusual bolt with all of the lugs on the rear. Strong action, light weight with I believe an 18 1/2" barrel. It should shoot sub 1 MOA groups right out of the box chambered in the very accurate 222 cartridge. Used mostly for varmints, but will drop a deer in it's tracks with a well placed shoot.

If you can buy it worth the money, grab it. Remington only discontinued the 788 because it was hurting the sales of their flagship more expensive Model 700.

F. Prefect

Lawyer Daggit
August 27, 2009, 05:36 PM
I agree, I have no problems sourcing .222 here in Australia either. They are still popular and the dies are still listed as amongst the most popular by die makers.

I disagree at seeing the round described as obsolete- obsolescent is probably more correct.

August 30, 2009, 02:15 AM
The 222 Rem is one of the better rifle calibers, given the choice I would take a 222 over the boring and much over rated 223, sure any caliber is capable of shooting ragged holes but with the 222 and 223 cartridges if both were in the same brand rifle the 222 would be most thinking shooters first choice.

Remember the BR caliber before the 6mm PPC took over was the 222 Remington, The overpriced Sako still make a 222, as does Tikka and several other rifle makers, but the best and likely the cheapest option is to find a S/H Rem 700 rifle in 223 or similar which is in good condition, send it off to your favourite re-barrel shop and re- caliber it to 222 with a match grade barrel.

The option I am currently chasing is the right Remington SPS Stainless Varmint model with too many rounds in the barrel, but have it converted over to shoot 222 Rem.

Factory ammo is not a huge problem unless in small towns way out in the scrub but like all handloaders (meaning anyone using a 222), you must buy top quality brass, either Sako or Rem cases will do, and then do your homework for bullet and matching powder choices, the rest usually sorts itself out.

August 31, 2009, 04:56 PM
I have a chance to purchase a Rem. mod. 788 in .222, for a really stupid below market price,

Go for it. Enjoy it. The 222 is a sweet caliber. To find one at a great price is tops. I have no trouble finding either ammo or brass here. The 222 is similar to the 223 in performance. They do both shoot the same diameter bullets; .224. Other than that similarity, they are different critters and cannot be used interchangeably. I have a Remington Model 722 and it has surely been a fine varmint gun. Mine thrives on the 55 gr bullets.